12 September 2011

oh, she just wants . . .

Cottage DoorA bit of soapboxing today. If you're here for the recipes, come back later. :)


There is a phrase I've heard often in the past couple of years: She just wants to get married.

Typically it's used by a parent to explain why his or her daughter is not going to college. Oh, she'll be working at Starbucks this fall, babysitting in her spare time. No, no college plans. After all, she just wants to get married and have kids.

This confuses me rather a lot.

1) First someone tell me, why is it "just" getting married? That makes it sound like marriage is the option for dummies or lazy people. Smart people go to college and hardworking people shoot for high-paying jobs. But all this girl wants to do is . . . let me see . . . enter a solemn covenant with a fellow sinner, possibly create and nurture eternal souls alongside him, and endeavor to reflect the beauty and love of Christ in their lives together.

Er. That's an incredibly noble and difficult vocation. There is nothing "just" about marriage.

2) Nobody needs an excuse for not going to college (or working at Starbucks and babysitting for that matter). I believe that cultivating your mind-- learning, thinking, wondering-- is extremely important, but you sure don't need to attend college to do that. Coffee is good. Taking care of children is good. So if that happens to be what the Lord has led this young lady to do, may she go to it right heartily. Don't downplay her pursuits as a mere holding pattern!

3) Then again, if the gal's dearest wish is to be married, how is that a reason not to go to college? There were flocks of eligible young ladies at my school who longed for marriage but figured that in the meantime, they would make good use of their time by learning in a formal manner. I was among them. Many of those ladies are now happily married with children, putting their education to excellent use as they scrub floors, make pie, and teach piano lessons. (Don't tell me that liberal arts are a waste of time. I will throw Cardinal Newman at your head.)

And note that many of those ladies are currently single and likewise putting their education to excellent use. Saying "just get married" makes it sound as if you can acquire a husband and children at the grocery store. Not so much. What if the young lady's wedding day is six years down the road? Or what if, once she's married, children are unexpectedly difficult to come by? (Exhibit A right here.)

Anyway, don't discount furthered education-- whether at Princeton or a community college-- simply because said daughter "just" wants marriage and a family. It may not happen so smoothly and one can't simply bank on hopes.


Ahem. This has been your daily dose of Rebekah's Learned Opinions, in which I get huffy about a phrase that has probably been uttered in all innocence but causes me to shake my spear about the denigration of marriage or the mischaracterization of higher education. The End.

p.s. My ambition is one day to have a front door like this. {image credit: newsman05}


  1. Love this! I agree that you don't have to go to college to love learning -- neither of my parents went, but they are still my best examples of curious minds and joyful hearts. It seems like at the very least your learning style and your finances should play into your decision to attend college or not.

    On the other hand I am so grateful for my college years and how they made my life richer. Even if I hadn't gotten anything else out of it, I learned to like poetry at college!


  2. I'm right behind you on all of this, dear. Well stated, soapbox or no.

  3. Well said! Keep the daily doses of Learned Opinions coming. ;)

  4. Love it!
    And I also love the door... I can help that dream come true ya know.

  5. I'll call you when we're ready to put our dream house together. ;)